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Sunday, April 11, 2010

I was rIght 70% of the time - Alan Greenspan

Well whoop de fucking doo. Sadly, the 30% of the time he was wrong resulted in the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression. Anyway, 70% correct is a C+ at best if we were to grade him generously.

Greenspan, along with a host of other financial luminaries have been appearing in Congress over the last week testifying about the financial crisis. The answers were all mind-numbingly the same. "No-one could have predicted...and even if I had predicted correctly, there is nothing I could have done." The pathetic spectacle reminded me more of an 8 year old trying to explain a new believable reason for having forgotten their homework for the third time in a week than anything.
The only difference is that the financiers’ interrogators were far more reverential than an 8th grade teacher would be.

I am no economist and I am not involved in the financial field but I predicted this mess in 2006. (I have witnesses who can verify this). I am reminded of a quote from Upton Sinclair, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” It might explain why a somewhat intelligent observer from the periphery such as yours truly could see this coming, yet those so-called geniuses earning countless millions to be at the vortex seem to have been unwilling to even consider they might be wrong.

What’s worse is the complete lack of contrition in their testimony. They all blame someone or something else. It‘s a malaise that has infected our world. The rush to war in Iraq is explained away by the excuse that the CIA intelligence was bad. How about at least a little bit of due diligence before committing our solders to a difficult war, made more difficult by the same intransigence on WMD’s as on ignoring the experts and the reality in Iraq as did Cheney and Rumsfeld. Neither has ever accepted even the slightest of responsibility.

We are seeing it again in the Catholic Churh’s abuse allegations. The Vatican hierarchy and its American apologists are so busy blaming the media, anti-church bigotry and salacious gossipmongers while ignoring reality they have contorted themselves into sanity defying statements. Taka of Bill Donohue head of the American Catholic League who went on TV to claim that homosexual molestation after the age of puberty somehow isn’t rape or even statutory rape.

There is no shame any longer in denying responsibility. If anything, there is at least acceptance, if not praise for ‘passing the buck’

Frank Rich says it far better than I can in a column in the NY Times today.

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